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World of Warships Supertest: French Tier IX cruiser Brest

6 min read

Historical background

Brest (and with a strong R please you bunch of horny boys) is somewhat in a weird spot when it comes to historical background. Considering the secondary armament and the illogical superstructure, I would categorize it as a pure what-if from Wargaming. We are talking about a ship built around an armament from the mid/late 1930s but somehow, her superstructure is at best, straight from the late 1920s.

As I see it, it is an up-gunned version of the 17 500 tons battlecruiser design and fitted with 330 mm guns. However, I was reminded that there was a preliminary version of the Dunkerque-class that could roughly fit the general characteristics of Brest. The problem is that with the mess that are the French archives, we know very little about this specific preliminary design.

Just like Cherbourg, Brest features an all-forward main battery with some of the biggest guns you can find among cruisers. However, she suffers from a very long main battery reload time and one of the worst dispersions for a cruiser. Her secondary battery is quite extensive and with an improved dispersion similar to Massachusetts or Schlieffen.
Other than that, she is thinly protected for a battlecruiser, except for the main belt.
Finally, she is equipped with a Main Battery Reload Booster and a 20% Engine Boost.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s camouflage

The turrets aren’t supposed to be black. They are missing textures for some reason.

For the classic reminder, this is a ship in testing, anything can change so don’t look at her like she would already be released.

Modules

Hull
Engine
Gun Fire Control System
Main battery

icon_module_Hull_installed

Brest (A)

icon_module_Engine_installed

Propulsion: 100 000 HP

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎‎PCA n° 9 Mle 1

icon_module_Artillery_installed

330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount

icon_module_Hull_installed

‎Brest (B)

icon_module_Suo_installed

‎‎PCA n° 9 Mle 2

STOCK SHIP

General Characteristics

TierIX
Health50 100 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction19 %
Displacement26 662 tons
Dimensions
Overall length213.42 m
Beam27.66 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship)25.62 m
Freeboard5.71 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range16.560 km
330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount2 x 4 330 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range7.950 km
139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount8 x 2 139 mm
Maximum speed31.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius720 m
Rudder Shift Time18.2 s
Surface Detectability15.1 km
Air Detectability10.53 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke12.38 km

Main Armament

2 x 4 330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount
 Maximum Firing Range16.560 km
 Reloading Time25.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time36.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front
Optimal firing angles at the rear38°
Sigma1.80 sigma
Maximum Dispersion187 m
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 330 mm HE OEA Mle 1935
Alpha Damage4 800
Penetration capacity 55 mm
Explosion size1.91
Fire chance35 %
Projectile Speed885 m/s
Air Drag0.293
Projectile Mass385.0 kg
Type of ProjectileAP – 330 mm AP OPfK Mle 1935
Alpha Damage9 700
Projectile Speed870 m/s
Air Drag0.28
Projectile Mass560.0 kg
Projectile Krupp2 428
Projectile Detonator0.033 s
Detonator threshold55 mm
Ricochet Angles45° – 60°

Secondary Armament

8 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount
Maximum Firing Range7.950 km
Reloading Time7.0 s
Sigma1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of ProjectileHE – 139 mm HE OEA Mle 1928
Alpha Damage2 000
HE penetration23 mm
Explosion Size0.5
Chance to Cause Fire10 %
Projectile Speed840 m/s
Air Drag0.234
Projectile Mass40.2 kg

Anti-air Armament

8 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 6.0 km
Hit chance90 %
Sector’s damage42
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second147
Flak clouds number6
Flak cloud damage1 680
8 x 2 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.1 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance90 %
Sector’s damage45
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second158
18 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.4 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance85 %
Sector’s damage39
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second137

Consumables

Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Slot 5
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Defensive AA Fire

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Damage from continuous DPS: +50%
Damage from flak explosions: +300%
Fighter
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of fighters: 4
Patrol radius: 3.0 km
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 33%
Main Battery Reload Booster
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 15 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Effect: -50% Main battery reload time
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 180 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Speed bonus: +20%

FULLY UPGRADED SHIP

General Characteristics

TierIX
Health55 300 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction19 %
Displacement30 390 tons
Dimensions
Overall length213.42 m
Beam27.66 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship)25.62 m
Freeboard5.71 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range18.216 km
330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount2 x 4 330 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range7.950 km
139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount8 x 2 139 mm
Maximum speed31.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius720 m
Rudder Shift Time13.0 s
Surface Detectability15.1 km
Air Detectability10.53 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke12.38 km

Main Armament

2 x 4 330 mm/50 Mle 1931 on a St.Chamond Mle 1932 mount
 Maximum Firing Range18.216 km
 Reloading Time25.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time36.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front
Optimal firing angles at the rear38°
Sigma1.80 sigma
Maximum Dispersion201 m
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 330 mm HE OEA Mle 1935
Alpha Damage4 800
Penetration capacity 55 mm
Explosion size1.91
Fire chance35 %
Projectile Speed885 m/s
Air Drag0.293
Projectile Mass385.0 kg
Type of ProjectileAP – 330 mm AP OPfK Mle 1935
Alpha Damage9 700
Projectile Speed870 m/s
Air Drag0.28
Projectile Mass560.0 kg
Projectile Krupp2 428
Projectile Detonator0.033 s
Detonator threshold55 mm
Ricochet Angles45° – 60°

Secondary Armament

8 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount
Maximum Firing Range7.950 km
Reloading Time7.0 s
Sigma1.0 sigma
Shells
Type of ProjectileHE – 139 mm HE OEA Mle 1928
Alpha Damage2 000
HE penetration23 mm
Explosion Size0.5
Chance to Cause Fire10 %
Projectile Speed840 m/s
Air Drag0.234
Projectile Mass40.2 kg

Anti-air Armament

8 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1938 on an Mle 1938 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 6.0 km
Hit chance90 %
Sector’s damage42
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second147
Flak clouds number6
Flak cloud damage1 680
4 x 2 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.1 mount
4 x 4 40 mm Bofors on a Mk.2 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance90 %
Sector’s damage54
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second189
18 x 2 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.24 mount
Sector range0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance85 %
Sector’s damage65
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second228

Consumables

Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Slot 5
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Defensive AA Fire

Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Damage from continuous DPS: +50%
Damage from flak explosions: +300%
Fighter
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of fighters: 4
Patrol radius: 3.0 km
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 33%
Main Battery Reload Booster
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 15 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Effect: -50% Main battery reload time
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 180 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Speed bonus: +20%

The Armor

External armor protection:

Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:

Turtleback:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden main armor deck:

Hidden armor protection inside the stern:

Personal Opinion

When it comes to Brest, I’m a bit more concerned than with Cherbourg. While she gets much stronger guns, the reload time remains excessively long, combined with the poor dispersion for a cruiser. Also, the turret traverse is worse and here, we have a big problem. Considering the sluggish turret traverse, especially with Main Battery Modification 3, the turrets won’t be able to stay on target when turning the ship. On Henri IV, you already have this issue without the improved Grease the Gears and Henri has a far worse turning radius than Brest.

For the rest, the armor protection remains suboptimal for a ship of this size and when the engine boost isn’t active, it’s the slowest cruiser of her tier.

In the end, despite having big guns, there are a lot of things that will lead to this ship dragging behind the rest of the usual damage-oriented roaming cruisers.

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